This has been quite a hectic off-season throughout the NBA, and the New York Knicks have been one of the most active teams.
Fairly early in the offseason, on August 29th, the Knicks made a very underrated hire in assistant coach Mike Woodson, who is regarded as a defensive specialist, which is exactly what the Knicks needed to pair with head coach, Mike D’Antoni. Also, a fun fact about Mike Woodson: Woodson played ball with Knicks’ Interim General Manager Glen Grunwald at Indiana University.
The Knicks also made several moves, in terms of player personnel, with the most significant and surprising being the acquisition of Tyson Chandler. In preparation for this addition, the Knicks sent Ronny Turiaf to Washington, along with cash considerations and a 2013 second round draft pick, in order to clear cap space. Also, to finish off the sign-and-trade with the Mavericks, Andy Rautins was traded to Dallas along with a conditional future second round pick.
Aside from the Tyson Chandler pickup, the Knicks also signed veteran point-guard Mike Bibby, who provides valuable playoff experience, with his trip to the finals last year and his many deep playoff runs with the Kings in the early 2000s, at a cheap price. They also brought in Steve Novak, the three-point specialist, to essentially replace Shawne Williams’ role on the roster last year. And to round out the roster, they signed Baron Davis after he cleared amnesty waivers.
The addition of Davis must have been the Knicks’ most critiqued signing, because Davis frequently comes under fire for his fitness, or lack thereof, and for the fact that he is allegedly supposed to be out for 8-10 weeks of the 66-game season, which equates to him returning sometime in February.
The Knicks’ rookies, Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson, were also signed to NBA deals, and were very impressive in their pre-season debuts against the Nets.
All-in-all, the Knicks displayed a want for the championship that has not been seen in years. Instead of preserving cap-space to go after one of the marquee point-guards this upcoming free-agency, the Knicks spent on their biggest need: a center. They brought in a play-maker and a shooter, as well as a defensive specialist in Woodson.
With defense being the main issue holding the Knicks back last year, the fans, players and coaches had to be happy with the team allowing a mere 82.5 ppg during the preseason, a drastic improvement from the 105.7 ppg they allowed last season which was fourth-worst in the NBA.
Only time will tell, but it seems as if the Knicks are shooting for a championship… this season.